FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – A string of gang-related shootings from Seattle to Federal Way have many people wondering why our communities seem to be getting more dangerous.
But data shows that in Federal Way, overall crime is actually down 9% this year compared to last year. That includes homicides, motor vehicle theft, stolen property offenses, and even drug offenses. But other categories such as aggravated assaults, robberies and commercial burglaries are up.
“Last year at this time, we had five homicides; right now, we have three related to gun violence,” said Federal Way Police spokesperson Cathy Schrock.
Strategies like emphasis patrols are working, she said.
“We reallocate resources that might’ve just been assigned to patrol and we get them out there and we increase the presence,” said Schrock.
Those efforts target the people or groups committing many of those violent crimes.
“We want to see violent crime drop because that’s the one that impacts and brings the fear factor, but it’s not the one that affects the majority of our citizens -- that’s the property crimes,” Schrock said.
Property crimes remain a concern for Federal Way Police and residents like Verree.
“They decided to break into my house and steal my jewelry which was such a bummer,” said Federal Way resident Verree.
Already there are 173 reported residential burglaries so far this year in Federal Way. Schrock says property crimes are hard to solve without suspect or vehicle information. She says Safe Cities Federal Way is becoming a key investigation tool.
“For example, someone might have a burglary or may have a theft of something and they have the camera at home. They post it, we see it, the rest of the neighbors see it and then we share that information that way,” said Schrock.
Schrock says more police presence deters all crime, but what’s hurting the department’s crime reduction efforts is a lack of resources. Because of the population boom, the department is short seven officers.
As we enter the summer months, there’s usually a spike in violent crime. Schrock says the Federal Way Police Department, along with Seattle and Burien and others, are now meeting to share information and strategies to best tackle crime as a team.